Warning of blocking Telia-Phonero

The Norwegian Competition Authority is considering intervening in Telia’s purchase of Phonero. The transaction involves two of the biggest players in the corporate segment in the Norwegian mobile telephony market. The Competition Authority notified the parties today that it is considering blocking Telia’s acquisition of Phonero.

– The Norwegian mobile market is highly concentrated, with Telenor and Telia as clearly the two largest market participants. In the corporate segment, however, Phonero is a challenger who has had success and gained considerable market share, says the director general competition Lars Sørgard.

– We fear that Telia’s acquisition of Phonero will lead to reduced competition in the corporate segment. Reduced competition would increase costs for Norwegian companies that use mobile services, says Sørgard.

Telia has, during the course of the review process, proposed measures to the Competition Authority to alleviate the negative effects on competition.

– We have considered these measures, but have concluded that they are not sufficient to remedy the competition damage that Telia’s acquisition of Phonero will lead to, says head of department Gjermund Nese.

The Competition Authority emphasizes that the current notice of possible intervention is not a final decision. According to the competition law, the companies now have 15 days to comment on the Authority’s assessments contained in this notification. The Authority then has 15 days to make its final decision. The deadline for a final decision is April 10, 2017.

Portrettbilde av Gjermund Nese, avdelingsdirektør i Konkurransetilsynet.
Director Gjermund Nese